The FICO® Card Alert Service has just released some startling stats: The number of ATMs in the US compromised by criminals rose 546 percent in 2015 over 2014. This marked the highest number of ATM compromises we have ever recorded.
The biggest targets were non-bank ATMs, such as those in convenience stores, where 10 times as many machines were compromised as in 2014.
We first blogged about sharp growth in ATM fraud last May, and the trend we saw then has only gotten worse. It has also taken on some new patterns: shorter compromises with fewer cards. The average duration of an ATM compromise fell from 36 days in 2014 to 14 days in 2015. The average number of cards affected by a compromise was cut in half.
For cardholders, we suggest increased vigilance. Here are some tips:
- If an ATM looks odd, or your card doesn’t enter the machine smoothly, consider going somewhere else for your cash.
- Contact your card issuer if you have completed a transaction and suspect that your card or PIN may have been compromised.
- Check your card transactions frequently, using online banking and your monthly statement.
- Ask your card provider if they offer account alert technology that will deliver SMS text communications or emails to you in the event that fraudulent activity is suspected on your payment card.
- Update your address and cell phone information for every card you have, so that you can be reached if there is ever a critical situation that requires your immediate attention.
Interested in more? Find me on Twitter @FraudBird.